In March of 2014 the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a change to the Clean Water Act that would give itself the authority to regulate not only rivers, streams, lakes and other permanent waterways, but also regulate all water, anywhere in the United States. This is to include, drainage ditches, irrigation ways and even puddles of water in your yard after a heavy rain. This constitutes a massive land grab by the EPA and gives them the power to virtually dictate what you can and can’t do on your private property.
If you as a private citizen, have a pond or ditch on your property, you will be required to file an environmental water use plan and regularly report and have to test your waters and send that to the EPA. Who is going to pay for filling out the forms and complying with these burdensome rules? You, the land owner.
Take the case of Michael and Chantell Sackett. The couple bought 2/3 of an acre in Idaho to build their house. Their property was a block away from the nearest run-off pond in the housing addition. The Sackets’ decided to fill in low lying areas on their property.
Enter the EPA. The EPA immediately displayed its BULLY power by issuing a decree that the Sackets’ violated the Clean Water Act and that they must return their land to its previous condition. The EPA stated that they could fine the Sackets’ up to $75,000 per day.
The EPA issued its compliance order relying on its interpretation of its powers that the property owner is blocked from going to court until sued by the agency.
In 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sackets’ could sue the EPA in federal court.
Justice Alito, in a concurring opinion, stated that EPA actions “put the property rights of every American entirely at the mercy of Environmental Protection Agency employees”.
Isolated incident? Let’s take another example of Andy Johnson and his wife. In 2011 the state of Wyoming gave the couple a permit to build a pond on their private property. The pond was built, they loved their new pond and everything seemed perfect. Until the EPA got involved, like all power hungry organizations had a problem because the pond may disturb the navigable water ways of a river over 100 miles away. The EPA is currently fining Mr. Johnson $75,000 per day until he drains his pond. This occurred before the EPA’s latest power grab, now imagine the chaos the EPA wield.
Who are the proponents of WOTUS? BHO Administration, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, MoveOn.org, and the United Nations. So what is the solution to overreach by Federal agencies?
You can contact your Indiana state representative and Indiana state senator and tell them to negate both of these regulations. Your state legislature has the power and the right to make legislation that prevents unconstitutional federal laws and regulations, like these two from the EPA, from being implemented in Indiana. Learn more on our State Sovereignty page.
You can find your local state legislator by clicking here and entering in your address.